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RIP: Judie A. C. Cilcain

On July 20, 1982, I attended a Minn-StF meeting hosted by Judie Cilcain. She spelled her name Judy back in those days. They were long enough ago that I no longer remember if I'd met her before attending that meeting or not. I don't think so. But we were surely friends shortly thereafter, and that Moon Day Minn-StF meeting was the beginning of that. The next year, when Jan Appelbaum and I bought Toad Hall, we named Judie as Badger to go along with Jan as Ratty, me as Mole, and Karen Johnson as Toad.

Also in 1983, a few months before Jan and I bought Toad Hall, Karen Johnson and I set a date for Karen to teach me how to make chocolate mousse and me to teach her how to make baked Alaska. Don Bailey overheard our discussion and asked if he could come along and taste the results. Sure thing. Judie and David Cargo came, too, David freshly home from his first-ever business trip. IIRC, Judie brought a moist loaf of orange cake. Judie, David, Don, Karen, Jan, and I quickly discovered that three desserts are too many for six people, especially when seconds are involved. The next March, I hosted the another dessert party, and the annual tradition continued through the rest of the 1980s. Judie was the first to sign the Friends of Toad Hall Register on March 9, 1984, and her daughter, Kashia Curney, was the second.

Judie and David were at 10 of the first 15 events in the Toad Hall Register, and many, many more in the years that followed. We celebrated Judie's birthday at the Minneapa #184 collation in 1984; they came to Toad Hall Christmas, Minn-StF meetings, music parties, Minn-StF by-laws BBQs, Idea collations, dessert parties, and oh, so much more. We colored eggs together in the Leamington Hotel one Easter weekend, helped each other move, and saw each other through many major life events. Mostly, we just plain enjoyed each other's company, though not nearly enough in recent years. Even before I moved to Toad Woods, Judie sent me her StippleApa 'zines in thanks for Idea, and continued doing so long after Idea ceased being anything approaching a fanzine one expected to see another issue of. Because connection. Because friendship.

These few paragraphs contain only a few hints about Judie herself and say nothing about her warm heart, her spirituality, or her many talents. Readers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press Bulletin Board will recall numerous gems contributed by Sergeant Bilko over the years. That was Judie. Just last week, Bulletin Board included a photo of 11-month-old Judie on a pony, taken 70 years ago.

Monday's email included the following grievous news from David:

It is with a heavy heart that I borrow my wife's computer and e-mail agent to send an announcement and invitation.

After a hard struggle with pancreatic cancer, Judie Cilcain passed away at 4:45 PM on Sunday, Sept. 21, attended by Kashia Curney, her daughter, and David S. Cargo, me, her husband.

October 5 would have been our 18th wedding anniversary.

As befits such a unique person, we are having a requiem Eucharist at the Church of Saint Francis on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m. The church is at 3201 Pleasant Ave. South in Minneapolis, near the intersection of Lake and Lyndale (not far from I-35W).

This will be followed by a vegetarian potluck in the church parlors after the service. We intend this to be a boisterous and rousing party in her memory.

Please feel free to share this announcement with any of your friend who were also friends of Judie. The more, the merrier.

Warm regards,

David S. Cargo

RIP, Judie. Your friendship was a blessing.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2014 09:28 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear that. I enjoyed being in Minneapa with her.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 10:35 am (UTC)
Oh, crap. That's...shit. I had no idea. Fuck.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC)

Edited at 2014-09-23 03:50 pm (UTC)
Sep. 23rd, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
Such awful news. But a lovely memoir. I was in a writing group with Judie long ago, and she was such a cheerful kindly presence -- not just there, but it stood out in a setting where people can get competitive and snarky.

Not that she was incapable of a good snark, but she didn't fling it about on your sensitive areas.

Sep. 24th, 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
This. I knew her almost exclusively through StippleAPA, but I have to agree that if there was one word to describe her, it would be kindly. I don't think I ever heard her utter a harsh word to anyone.
Sep. 25th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I never did either. Once in a while you could tell that she might like to so utter, but she didn't.

Sep. 23rd, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC)
I knew it was coming, but I kept thinking it wasn't coming yet... She was a marvelous person, and generous and kind to the last.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
She let me know a while ago, when she couldn't come to a party we had invited them to. I will miss her.

Sep. 24th, 2014 01:18 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear it. I met her back in 1980 or 81, at a Mnstf meeting and liked her immediately.
Sep. 25th, 2014 02:36 am (UTC)
I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I wish I'd had the chance to get to know her better.

Edited at 2014-09-25 12:34 pm (UTC)
Mar. 19th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
Something I love is that recently a FaceBook thread got a bit hot and heavy, but after someone (I believe it was David Messer) mentioned how much he missed Judie, and how much she could have added to the conversation, we all decided we needed to start acting better.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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